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ENZO Biochem Announces Settlement Agreement With Digene Corporation For Payments In Excess Of $30.5 Million

FARMINGDALE, NY, October 14, 2004 – Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ), a leading biotechnology company, announced today that it, its wholly-owned subsidiary Enzo Life Sciences, Inc., and Digene Corporation (NASDAQ:DIGE) have entered into a settlement and license agreement, and joint stipulation and order of dismissal with prejudice related to litigation involving Enzo’s U.S. Patent No. 6,222,581 (“the ‘581 patent”).  The settlement involves minimum payments to Enzo of $30.5 million and the granting to Digene of a non-exclusive royalty bearing worldwide license for use of the ‘581 patent and all other patents in the ‘581 patent family.
“We believe that this platform and the technology embodied in the ‘581 patent, one of more than 200 patents owned and developed by Enzo, is one of the most desirable formats for nucleic acid detection in an economic and reliable manner,” said Elazar Rabbani, Ph.D., Enzo Chairman.  “We are pleased that this platform has contributed to the success of Digene’s product and that it has made an important contribution to healthcare worldwide. We look forward to the application of this technology to other areas.  We are also pleased that this issue with Digene has been resolved, and we wish them much success.”
Pursuant to the agreement, Enzo has received the initial payment of $16 million from Digene.  Digene has agreed to pay to Enzo $16.5 million in additional payments, subject to credits discussed below, including $2.5 million to be paid by November 14, 2005 and the balance in equal installments of $3.5 million annually over the following years through November 14, 2009.   In addition, Digene shall pay Enzo running royalties on net sales of licensed products. The patent expires in 2018.  The additional payments are fully creditable by Digene against the royalties due under the agreement.  Digene at its discretion may credit $2.0 million of the first payment against either the payment required to be paid by Digene by November 14, 2005 or the running royalties due Enzo under the agreement.
About Enzo
Enzo Biochem is engaged in the research, development and manufacture of innovative health care products based on molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques, and in providing diagnostic services to the medical community. The Company's proprietary labeling and detection products for gene sequencing and genetic analysis, with over 200 patents worldwide, are sold to the life sciences market throughout the world. The Company’s therapeutic division is in various stages of clinical evaluation of its proprietary gene medicine for HIV-1 infection and its proprietary immune regulation medicines for hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection and for Crohn’s Disease. The Company also holds a patent covering a method and materials for correcting point mutations or small insertions or deletions of genetic material that would allow for editing and correcting certain abnormalities in genes. For more information visit our website
Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this news release may be considered "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include declarations regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could materially affect actual results. The Company disclaims any obligations to update any forward-looking statement as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.